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I love me some force-on-force training. The more realistic the better. Which raises an important point: simulations are never realistic. Especially when your head’s encased in a plexiglass diving bell, you’re wearing neck and groin protection and you’re surrounded by people similarly encumbered. Which is why I prefer to run some FoF drills without protective gear using blanks only.

Unfortunately, shooting blanks fails reproductively commercially. People who pay for FoF training want to know the answer to two simple questions: did I live and did I incapacitate/kill the bad guy? To fully satisfy their curiosity, you need to use man-marker cartridges of some sort, which requires protective gear.

This tends to de-emphasize (at least in the shooter’s mind) the most important element of FoF training: strategy. ‘Cause a lousy plan deployed with skilled marksmanship is just as dangerous as a good plan carried out with lousy marksmanship. Improving marksmanship is a lot easier than teaching effective defensive strategy, which varies enormously depending on the environment and threat.

That said, there are some basic rules to keep from getting dead and making sure the bad guy doesn’t guide you or anyone else in that direction. The one I teach my daughter: run or ambush. Hiding? I’ve told her that hiding should only be considered a prelude to an ambush. If you’re about to be discovered, attack! And there’s no better attack than an ambush attack, using speed, surprise and violence of action. Extreme violence.

To that end, our hero above missed an opportunity. He could have instructed couple of guys to stand on either side of the door holding chairs in the air (like they just don’t care), then deliver crushing blows to the bad guy’s brain. That would have evened the odds a bit. Or would it? Or would a physical assault by two or more people in front of our armed defender make it more difficult for him to shoot the bad guy without collateral damage?

I’d like to sim that scenario. Which would be exceedingly difficult, given insurance costs and simple human decency. I could equip the good guys with pillows but that would be silly. What’s not asinine: understanding that a defensive gun use is nothing of the sort. It’s a pre-emptive attack or a counter attack. The best attack is the one the bad guy doesn’t see coming. Put that in your sim and smoke it.

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  1. Ambush FTW. And by Ambush, I don’t mean that inexpensive cologne from Dana.

    Which is why David Mamet was right: Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance.

    • Subterfuge and cunning are often better allies than a fierce heart and a strong back. -Count Fenring

  2. While ambush can be effective in neutralizing an unsuspecting BG, it may not always work out legally for the defender. In this wonderful country we have legislation/legal workers in certain areas which transform the potential victim into a predator if they have the gall to stand up to the criminal, as opposed to running, hiding or pissing on themselves. Standing your ground and operating may keep you alive, only to be bungholed by a SJW prosecutor convinced that the predator had been driven by circumstances out of his control as he was on the verge of reform, and your ambush didn’t give the guy a fair chance. Sadly, some may be victimized twice, once by the criminal actor then by the system. This by no means is advice to not act as needed, just remember depending where one is, your mileage may vary.

    • “While ambush can be effective in neutralizing an unsuspecting BG, it may not always work out legally for the defender.”

      I would differentiate an “ambush” (as in from a defensive position” from a “S&D”, as was suggested in the intro. As a non-LEO, I don’t imagine myself seeking out a killer. I would remain in a defense, call 911, and wait. (Possible exception: I have loved ones out and about.)

      Mike in OK: I’m from MA, where you’re put through the system no matter how in the right you are. So I’d rather avoid both the 6 AND the 12. 8>) But I’ll accept the 12 only if I have to.

    • In that case it’s best to ignore the law and deal with the legal shit later. That’s what GoFundMe is for and you won’t get to set up a GoFundMe page for your lawyers bills or sue over the breach of your civil rights if you’re dead.

      Do the country a service and extinguish that POS’s life the best way possible and then worry about what some fucktard prosecutor wants to do. Just don’t give ANY information to the police past your name and basics of what happened until you have a lawyer present.

      • “Do the country a service and extinguish that POS’s life the best way possible…”

        My only concern (and I was wondering if the scenario was going to touch on this) was: what if the person coming through the door was a good guy (CCW or LEO) in “regular” clothes. That’s what I thought the twist was going to be after the first round as the BG didn’t point his gun at the defender.

        In the second round, when the person in the hall pushed the door closed, I figured that if he were a good guy, that he would have IDed himself then.

        As noted above, I’d really rather avoid shooting someone, no matter how righteous. Ya gotta clean the gun, I won’t have earmuffs, etc.. (As I’m now in NH, I’m not _as_ concerned about the CJ system.)

        • ID is important but in your example of a being behind a door I think you’re going to have a good idea of if the person is hostile or not. You’ll also have a moment or so to assess how they act as they enter the room.

          Generally speaking the people around you will be in full on stupid mode so if you can keep your head you’ll probably know it’s the BG when he comes in shooting or something like “Die motherfuckers!” or “Allahu Akbar!”.

          That said nothing is perfect and just being near a situation like this means pretty much everything has gone to shit. All you can do is try to stack the deck in your favor and hope you come out the other end alive.

    • Pantera, agreed.
      Look what is happening with the Machete and knife wielding youth shot by a cop when he refused to drop the knives.
      Parents are lawyering up claiming excessive force.
      I guess they feel the cop should have also used a knife to subdue him.

  3. The keyboard Dick Marcinko has spoken. “Violence of action..” So tacticool. Last time I checked MOST states make you prove some sort of imminent threat to justify your shooting. Have fun trying to prove that from ambush, nevermind the butt loving you’re gonna get from the “victims” family in civil court. Dumb.

    • You’re aware that a quick thinking individual with some situational awareness and knowledge of their surroundings can set an ambush for an enemy that’s already initiated violent contact… right? It’s only been done for a few thousand years with variation of defense in depth.

      Example: A mass shooting at your place of higher learning or work. You know the shooter is coming down a hallway. You hide in a closet or something and bust the dude in the grape as he passes by. He’s been ambushed, deaded and it’s 100% legal.

      He/she may have started the whole violent encounter but in regards to the individual action that took his life the “violence of action” was on your side.

    • I don’t believe the intent is to ambush an unsuspecting person, but rather to ambush those you know intend you harm. That is, you retreat to cover, and then deploy so that you can immediately engage should the threat continue to pursue – and you want that engagement to be effective. If the threat disperses, your ambush never happens.

  4. I really enjoy Force on Force and shooting Sims. There’s no argument about who hit where. And I like to move where I want to go instead of being forced into bad positions by being a “character” in a bad simulation movie.

  5. I like playing airsoft with a gas blow back pistol. Definitely a good alternative and in a few games most simulations can be played out, even unexpected.

  6. I have done Sims several times and while it is weird re: the outfits, it gives feedback that static range exercises don’t give.

    I’ve also done a live-fire scenario using a mylar mirror. Now that had my heart pounding. The flash from a 12ga is sobering. I hope that I never have to face one _not_ in a mirror. 8>)

  7. Maybe i was missing what you were all seeing in that video, but i thought he did VERY well…the bad guy didn’t even have a chance to fire at him…

  8. “Hiding? I’ve told her that hiding should only be considered a prelude to an ambush. If you’re discovered, attack!”

    A quibble: It’s not really an ambush if you’re discovered. A proper ambush starts before you’re discovered. Otherwise it’s a “Oh, hi I didn’t see you there but now I do” fight.

    I would suggest that allowing the BG to advance to contact is a bad idea. It’s far better to initiate the violent action before they are aware of your presence and thereby giving them as little opportunity to respond as possible. One thing I know for absolute certain is that if you get behind the BG, put a knife in the side of their neck and push it forward they won’t be shooting anyone else provided you’ve done your job correctly.

  9. Per several Green Berets and NSW guys I’ve taken classes from; there is nothing defensive about shooting at someone. Yes, you might be defending yourself or family, but you are still launching projectiles and trying to stop the attacker.

    Violence and speed of action are two things that will help one win in any type of fight. Make a decision and go with it. If the decision is run, then RUN! If the decision is made to fight back, do it with every ounce of fight you can muster.

  10. I recommend the book, “Meditations on Violence” by Rory Miller. He makes a point that we learned in the Navy: Every kind of combat training has a limitation for one simple reason: Safety. You can’t put people’s lives at risk to teach them how to protect their lives or take other lives. In the Navy, we called trying to do that “practicing bleeding.”

    Miller’s point is not to criticize good training on what it doesn’t do, but analyze it and see where the gaps are between a type of training and reality. You piece together a training regimen that fills all the gaps. So force-on-force is good for experiencing someone shooting at you and for dealing with adrenaline. It leaves gaps because it is not real ammo and you have all the protective gear. So you do F-on-F AND other kinds of training that allow you live ammo with no protective gear. If you want to sim flanking a shooter at the door with two folding chairs, you put an attacker in a padded suit and you go for it.

    The point is to put together different kinds of training that fill as many gaps as possible from real combat. Picking out one kind of training and criticizing it because it’s not perfect is futile.

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